Falmouth is a 'newer' port destination in Jamaica, on the north side of the island about 30 miles from Montego Bay, and it seems like it's still getting its cruise-legs.
Falmouth provides a few different shopping experiences. You can either choose to stay within the confines of the port area, where shopping is mostly trinket-y, with a few restaurants (and yes, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville is now open). RCI provided several excursions as well, two specifically beach excursions with multiple touring excursions of Montego Bay, Dunn's River Falls, etc., as well as historical excursions of Falmouth and the surrounding areas.
We decided to go off the reservation a bit and booked privately with Time N Place Beach. It was, to put it simply, the highlight of our trip. The beach was beautiful, the location secluded, the area was 'true' Jamaica. It was exactly what we were looking for. $20 per person got you roundtrip transportation and a day at the beach. There was also lunch on the cheap and very cheap beer (I was spending $3 for Guinness Foreign Extra there--excellent).
After departing the boat, we were told to meet our host, Harvel, at the Scotia Bank down the street from the port. We did encounter some rather aggressive cab drivers, but once we told them where we were going, they seemed to back off. We got a little lost and just asked a nice store owner where the Scotia Bank was and he pointed us in the right direction. Harvel picked us up about 15 minutes earlier than scheduled. A 10 minute van ride had us at Time N Place, and from there, the excursion started. There was a thatched-roof bar with shady spots to sit in beach chairs, a kayak, about 1.5 miles of undisturbed beach, crystal clear water, as well as a nice little bar. The guests and staff were so nice. When the 'bartender' had to run a few errands, she told us if we wanted anything, to just come around the bar and get it and then just mark it on our tabs. Fair warning, there is a nude resort next door, and while we didn't see many nudists, we saw maybe a half dozen from about 25-50 yards away.
In all, $80 total got my wife and I roundtrip transportation, a secluded beach, lunch, all the beer we could drink, some dogs to play with (yes, they have dogs that are very friendly with the guests), meeting new friends and people, and a lifetime of memories. They also have little cottages if you want to stay for the week. A five-star resort it is not, a perfect true Jamaican getaway, yes.
I'm not sure if Falmouth would have been an excellent port if it hadn't been for the great folks at Time N Place, and I HIGHLY recommend it if you're porting in Falmouth.
Labadee, Haiti is Royal Caribbean's private resort located on the north coast of Haiti--and a picturesque place to spend a day relaxing on a beach.
We pulled into the port around 7:00 AM and were free to disembark around 7:30 (be sure to take your Seapass!). Towels were available onboard, so you had to make sure you picked up your towel before heading off the ship, as there were none actually at the beach locations.
Labadee was gorgeous. Surrounded by mountains with crystal clear, blue water. It was split up really into three main areas. If you wanted to swim and just generally be near water with some shade, the south ('right') side was home to the cabana-area and Columbus Cove at the far end of the area (about a 10 minute walk from the ship). To the north ('left') side was the adventure area with zip line, roller coaster, and a beach area mostly for sunbathing (they didn't really recommend swimming in that area). Splitting the two beaches was the 'town square' with folks selling their wares. We stuck almost exclusively to Columbus Cove. I strongly recommend getting there as early as you can. We were the second couple to get to Columbus Cove and had our choice of where we wanted to sit. We chose an area shaded by palm trees that was steps from the water, but provided us with optimal shade throughout the day. It didn't really start to fill up until about 10 AM. There were floating beach mats for rental, but the chairs were free. Lunch was provided at three different areas throughout the island, and had standard grilled fare. It was satisfactory for a day at the island, and you could eat it at your beach chair.
There were a lot of different activities and excursions, but we stuck with the 'free plan'. We had some friends do the jet skis and they said it was a great time. The zip line appeared to be very popular as well. But if you're just looking for a relaxing day for free, it can be had at Labadee. Some people commented that the town square vendors could be a little aggressive in selling their stuff, but as I never ventured over there, it's hard to tell just how aggressive they were.
Overall, I would certainly, certainly return to Labadee. Is it a 'manufactured' experience? Of course it is. They aren't dropping you off in Port au Prince and saying, "Enjoy your day". But for folks looking for an absolutely beautiful tropical day, Labadee is perfect.